As you may have noticed, I’m back.
The answer to “back where?” is multi-tiered…
In reality, I’ve been back stateside for several months. I returned mid-March and spent the past months exploring some beautiful land and communities in our country.
A month ago, I returned to San Diego, the place I call home when I choose to name one.
And now, I return here: to this blog. Or, more significantly, to the practice of reflecting in a public space that invites others to my journey.
This final return is indicative of an arch I noticed in my travels over the past year. Within every core country, I experienced a ‘settling in’ period where my public writing paused. In these transitional times, I’d question many things while not yet being in a place to name them, often prompting further questions of my own integrity or reliability.
I am shrugging off those latter queries (read: doubts) and the urge to apologize profusely for my recent lapse. Instead, I will simply thank you for landing here when you do and acknowledge with gratitude the patience that this sometimes requires.
A part of my intention in this season is acceptance and I am working on accepting my process where it is, even when that place does not meet my ideal of, say, blogging weekly on solidarity or mysticism. I hold this aim of acceptance in tandem with growth goals that I am always walking toward. This means that I hope too to still get to that place of weekly posts. In time.
Holding the bothof acceptance and growth-momentum addresses a tension I feel in many areas of my life. Often, unrealized goals actually perpetuate worse performance from me. I need to call a friend back and in my guilt of taking so long, I delay the call further. I am working on not picking at my face (this is real), but messed up my clean record yesterday, so what’s one more relapse? I mean to blog, but dread the post that acknowledges the extent to which I have not blogged.
In writing this, I realize that at the crux of acceptance and growth is an orientation to process. When I am not fixated on a destination but instead on constant evolution, I create the space to be where I am while allowing that place to be fluid.
All of this reminds me of an important insight gleaned during teacher training. Our instructor frequently quipped, “the asana (physical practice and postures) is there to serve your body; not the other way around”. As White (2007) said, yoga is less about attaining than it is attuning– not forcing our bodies or our minds to a specific place, but cultivating an awareness that notices and listens to our bodies, our minds, and most pertinently, our inner wisdom.
The way that I understand this has implications far beyond the yoga mat. It invites me to let go of perfectionist ideals and lean into my own experience, as beautiful or as messy as that may be.
In short, my attention moves to being rather than doing. I’m brought back then, to a word that litters the faith tradition of my upbringing: grace.
When I think about grace, I hold a spacious image in my mind’s eye. I envision a meadow with tall grass and blooming wildflowers- with dry patches and weeds to be sure- but mostly, I see expansive land for grandiose dancing and a cartwheel or two, or twenty. I see scraped knees and dripping blood that accompanies the risk and rewards of living freely. I see a platform for memory making and mishap and the paradoxical adventure of learning to be human.
Today, I return to grace. And I breathe it into where I am today, and where I hope to go tomorrow.
White, G. (2007). Yoga beyond belief: insights to awaken and deepen your practice. Berkeley, Calif.: North Atlantic Books.